People’s stories have variations
Everyone has a story. I’m discovering this as I meet people both in our area and in Carlsbad.
Rich, Cathy, Kari and Kali joined me for a week of beaches and walks. When they left I met several people willing to tell their stories.
One woman had an uncle who served three tours of duty in Vietnam and wanted to tell his real Vietnam story. I advised getting my latest book, “Memories to Manuscripts,” coming out in September. Everyone’s memories are also history of several eras which won’t be repeated and need to be recorded.
My columns drew comments as well. Walter Katnich’s daughter Gena Katnich Brentt wrote in response to Michael Sagehorn’s memories of Tokay High. She made some excellent comments about the difference in teaching then and now.
“Over the years my dad shared a lot of stories about his former students. Of course, he never named names (as none of us do). Teaching in the 1950s, 1960s and into the ’70s was certainly different than what our teachers face in the classroom today. I have several friends who are nearing retirement as teachers and wish they could run their classrooms as they were run when they were students.
“Teachers today must be very careful in the way they talk to their students for fear of retaliation from their parents. I am assuming Michael’s parents probably sent Mr. Carney a thank you note for his ability to straighten their failing son around. Yes, it is a different time, and I long for days past, but I cherish my father’s earnest love and conviction to teaching all students, good ones and those that weren’t. He and the other teachers mentioned made lasting impressions on hundreds of children throughout their tenure.”
The comments about the huge difference in teaching today have been voiced by many teachers I know. Several in middle and high school teaching said that many administrators seem fearful of parents.
When a teacher sends a student to the office for disciplinary reasons that teacher expects results. However, too often the administrator “caves in” to a parent complaining about singling out his or her child.
One teacher said he became so disgusted with the administration’s discipline policy he gave up sending any students to the office. Fear doesn’t make anyone’s job any easier.
One of my sons teaches at Middle College High School, thoroughly enjoying the experience. Only 70 students are chosen for the program so both students and parents feel privileged to be in the school. One young man said he was thrilled to be there rather than a regular high school, explaining he would be hassled by his peers at the regular school because he worked so hard in academics.
Teachers have to put up with this different teaching world every day. Wow! A salute to each and every one of you.
Recently I met a man at the Galt Post Office who had graduated from Tokay High in 1985. Somehow I gathered he had read my Sagehorn column. He said this about Charlie Schiffman: “You called him Charlie. We called him Yoda.” He paused, then added, “He was really strict. We were scared of him. But maybe that wasn’t all bad!”
Talking about Tokay High leads me to another of my synchronicity moments that occurred a few years ago. My grandson Chris Raimundi married Moniqui, who told me her mother Linda Brown had worked for me at Tokay. Linda worked in the attendance office and had Leanne Johnson as her supervisor.
Linda now works for the Galt Police Department, with her supervisor T. J. Guidotti giving her many accolades. Good training, Leanne.
My column discussing the Muslim woman I interviewed for my recently completed book brought this reply from Radhika Rao: “U.S. has been so very hospitable and kind to all and accepting of so many cultures. Everyone needs to ask (as per JFK) ‘What can I do for our country?’ Personally, PC thing has gone too far! Enjoyed Gwin’s article, too! I am a Navy wife of 20 years and loved being a military wife for all those years. We are very grateful and thankful for USA!”
Radhika is a board member on Lodi Library Foundation, Friends of the Lodi Library and Stockton Shelter for the Homeless. She certainly is living her appreciation of her U.S. citizenship.
The Galt community has a story as well. Galt Shop Local comes together twice monthly to improve cooperation between various sectors of the city. Its vision: “By unifying the Chamber, business associations, elected officials, business owners and community, we will work together to keep commerce, jobs and tax revenue within our town.”
More on their accomplishments and their future plans in other columns.